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life, leslie houston has called this island home. >> once you've been here and you have the sand in your shoes, you never want to leave. it's a legacy. it's a life. it's what your hometown means to you if you spent 53 years there. >> reporter: which is why it's so hard to see it shattered. what do you think of what happened to your island? >> we've got an real slap in the face. >> reporter: a few things were spared on this strip of resort towns, which since the late 1800s have been a haven for sun seekers. >> in their petty coats. that's how this island started. it was a vacation spot for the people in philadelphia. >> reporter: 10,000 people live here year round but in the summer the population swells to 100,000. with families vacationing in towns surf city. >> atlantic city is about 13, 14 miles due south of us here. >> reporter: glenn and his family built their first summer home here in 1949. >> a lot of folks here that live here are teachers and i'll say regular middle class folks who were able to a lot of times get on the island or get on the property before the prices sky r
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